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Paramount unveils new infantry fighting vehicles

By Richard Tomkins
Paramount unveils new infantry fighting vehicles
Paramount Group's new Mbombe 8 infantry fighting vehicle. Photo courtesy Paramount Group

MIDRAND, South Africa, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A new family of infantry combat vehicles has been unveiled in South Africa by the Paramount Group.

The Mbombe line is comprised of the Mbombe 4 -- also known as the Marauder XT in certain markets -- the Mbombe 6 and the Mbombe 8.

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Paramount, a South African company, said the vehicles have an 80 percent commonality of parts, which is a significant cost benefit to armed forces.

"The development of Mbombe 8 has enabled Paramount Group to provide potential customers with a complete family of 4 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 ICVs which share over 80 percent of common components to reduce through-life costs and make for easier training and logistics," said Ben Jansen, chief executive officer of Paramount Combat Systems. "This commonality relates to both the driveline aggregates, as well as the fact that all three vehicles utilize a conventional, or in-line, automotive driveline configuration, positioning the powerpack at the front of the vehicle and along its center line."

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The Mbombe 8 builds on Paramount's Mbombe 6, which employs a new form of construction for unprecedented levels of protection, while keeping profile to a minimum, the company said. The 8x8 also draws on the company's experience designing the highly effective and battle-tested Marauder and Matador mine-resistant vehicles.

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Key features of the Mbombe 8 include: a gross weight of 30 tons; a nine-ton payload, including its weapon systems; a six-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine; a six speed automatic transmission; a maximum speed of about 60 miles per hour and a range of about 497 miles.

Its level of ballistic protection is STANAG 4569 Level 3+ and blast protection is STANAG 4569 Level 4a and 4b.

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